Are you practicing emotional self-care?

This morning I woke up feeling fabulously nourished and complete. What happened? This past weekend I attended a beautiful community sing-a-long, had a three-hour lunch with a beloved mentor and went for a hike with a group of dear friends. All of this “belly time” (face-to-face connection) and heart-nurturing left me feeling happy and connected.

The key to enhancing our total well-being and sense of equilibrium is making time for our emotional self-care (ex: heart-felt communication with friends who let us show up “warts and all,” asking for support from a minister/therapist/coach when needed, journaling and allowing ourselves to feel to heal) as well as physical, spiritual and mental self-care.

The care and feeding of our hearts is essential to feeling whole and alive, but more and more it seems we forget this.

emotional self-care

It’s easy this time of year to feel like we’re slaves to our to-do lists. To succumb to the seduction of productivity and forget we’re not “human doings”– we’re messy, complex, wild, troubled and sometimes brilliant human beings.

What are you doing on a regular basis to nurture your inner landscape and emotional well-being? Numerous studies report one of the biggest factors that affects our quality of life as we age is how deep and consistent our social interactions are with our friend circle (read about the importance of connection). Alternately, when we’re disconnected from ourselves and others, this can lead to depression, anxiety and worse.

We need each other fully and completely: hearts, minds, bodies and souls. Not just through rapid fire texts, emojis or Facebook likes. This week I challenge you to find ways to connect more deeply and authentically. Try picking up the phone to call a friend you haven’t spoken to in months, setting up a girl’s or guy’s night out or (gasp!) dropping by a friend’s home unexpectedly just for a hug and to say hi. Your heart will thank you for it.

YOUR HOMEWORK: One of my favorite exercises for connecting to our “inner world” is the Quickie Journaling Exercise (from my life balance book Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways to Find Peace & Harmony in Everyday Life). It involves asking three simple questions and recording your answers in a notebook or journal. It often helps to write stream of consciousness–let whatever wants to emerge–and place a hand over the center of your chest while reflecting on each question. How do I feel? What do I need (at this moment, at this life stage)? What do I want (what is my heart’s greatest desire)?  Try this exercise every morning for one week. Often, in just five minutes, you are able to unearth a whole world you didn’t even know was present.

saying no
  • Retreats are ideal if you’re in transition, exploring what’s next and want to create new ways of being. Join soulful, like-minded women in an empowering and deeply supportive environment; I’ll be in MA Jan. 25-27 for New Way of Being: Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health for a deeply restorative winter self-care retreat (packages start at just $550 and lodging is almost sold out, reserve your spot today) learn more.
  • Hire me to plan/facilitate a custom workshop or retreat for your company, team or organization on life balance, resiliency or self-renewal. I’ve been speaking professionally for 25+ years on work-life balance and managing your energy.  My clients include Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit agencies, national conferences and women’s organizations. Learn more and email me at workshops at reneetrudeau dot com with questions.
  • Craving authentic community and want to find (or create) your tribe? Learn more about our global sisterhood of RTA-Certified Facilitators  and empower/support women in your community! More here on how to become a RTA-Certified Facilitator and join our inner circle ($100 off through 11/30; includes private coaching with me).

Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance coach/author/speaker Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women experience balance through the art/science of self-care, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, Spirituality & Health and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining self-renewal groups based on her award-winning self-care curriculum.  She is the author of three books on life balance and mindfulness including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 16-year-old son. More on her background here.

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